Going green isnt just for small homes. Businesses can getin on the act as well, helping to save the environment andcompany funds at the same time. Going green can be big,like switching to sustainable energy sources, or small, like setting up office recycling bins and turning off the lights after work hours. There are many ways a business can go green:
1. Go digital.Using digital calendars, memos, and more can greatly reduce a companys waste products, one of themost important steps in going green. Going digital can also improve employee efficiency and save money. If a company reduces paper waste by ten $15 reams each month, that saves around $1,800 each year. Couple that with reduced costs for document shredding, file storage, printer/copier maintenance, and ink or toner, and evensmall companies will see a huge difference in their carbonfootprints and bottom lines. Even if you cant go digital on everything, encourage two-sided printing where possible and look for environmentally-friendly paper products.
2. Be energy efficient.Paperless offices save money and help the environment, but dont stop there. Reduce your energy consumption, as well. This can be done by purchasing Energy Star products, but also by switching toenergy-efficient light bulbs, adjusting computer settings to "power saver" mode, and turning off the lights and unplugging appliances in rooms that arent being used. If your company uses vehicles or provides company cars,look into using hybrids and encourage drivers to take fuel- efficient routes, carpool, and avoid speeding.
3. Encourage in-office recycling.Recycling paper products, plastic, glass, and even old electronics can have a huge effect on a companys carbon footprint. If you set up recycling bins in the office, make sure theyre in highly- visible areas where theyll be used most often, such asbreak rooms, cafeterias, outside bathrooms etc. Send outa reminder email now and again to encourage employees to use the bins. You may even consider partnering with other companies in your building or on your block to combine your recycling efforts.
4. Be casual.Many companies have embraced the concept of "Casual Fridays" to reduce summer cooling costs, with excellent results. Others have encouraged working from home, which reduces a companys power consumption and the amount of carbon emissions from employees commuting to the office. It may take time and somestructural innovations, but it can be done. In recent years, Sun Microsystems has saved itself millions of dollars in real estate costs and thousands of tons of carbon emissions, all while increasing worker productivity.
5. Use sustainable energy providers.Green energy resources may seem expensive, but the initial cost can bemore than earned back in energy savings. If your company is opening a new building soon, consider working with acompany that provides sustainable energy, or even simply installing solar panels and generators. The effect oncarbon emissions and money savings varies, but its a well- known fact that it is worth it.